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DI In The News: IHE Article on Blackboard Acquisition of MoodleRooms

Inside Higher Ed interviewed our own Phil Hill as part of their article about Blackboard’s acquisition of MoodleRooms and NetSpot (as well as their extension of the ANGEL product line). As Steve Kolowich described:

In a turn that shocked many in the higher ed tech world, the e-learning giant Blackboard on Monday announced that it has acquired two companies that provide support to Moodle, the leading open-source alternative to Blackboard’s proprietary online learning platform.

As part of a raft of announcements, the company said it has bought Moodlerooms, a major open-source support provider in North America, and NetSpot, which serves a similar role for Moodle users in Australia.

At the end of the article Steve quotes Phil on the significance of the full set of announcements.

Phil Hill, executive vice president of Delta Initiative [ed. title fixed], focused on another Blackboard announcement that was largely dwarfed by the company’s open-source news. Blackboard said it will continue supporting the Angel Learning platform, which it acquired in 2009, indefinitely rather than trying to move its legacy clients on to a newer version of Blackboard Learn in 2014, as previously planned.

In light of the other releases, the Angel extension reads like an afterthought. But its inclusion in Monday’s news dump was no mere coincidence, says Hill. By setting “sunset” dates for the Angel platform, Blackboard had signaled that it planned to funnel its legacy Angel clients toward the most recent version of Learn, he said.

“The new message” encoded in Mondays announcements “is that it doesn’t matter what LMS you want, we’ll support them all,” Hill wrote in an e-mail. “That is the real message, in my opinion, more so than the open source angle. This is a huge change in strategy.”

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